Kenny Roger's once sang, "You've gotta know when
to hold em, know when to fold em, know when to walk
away, know when to change into a cardboard box..."
22, 2006 - If
you play your cards right - literally - Solid Snake
just might come out of this one alive.
Productions, the development company fronted by Metal
Gear creator Hideo Kojima, is hoping to stack the
deck in their favor with Metal Gear Ac!d 2. The original
Ac!d game, released last year for the launch of the
PSP in North America, was an extreme departure from
the stealth/action oriented gameplay the Metal Gear
franchise is known for. Initial reactions were mixed
when Konami revealed that the first appearance of
Solid Snake on the PSP would involve turn-based card
combat. Undaunted by the abrupt change in genre, many
curious PSP owners took a chance on Metal Gear Ac!d
and came away extremely impressed. I'm pleased to
report Ac!d 2 addresses many of the slight imperfections
of the original and ups the ante in terms of overall
playability and functionality of the card-based mechanic.
In short, if you even remotely enjoyed the first game,
you're gonna love this one.
yourself 5 points if your gut instinct tells you that
the plot of Ac!d 2 involves the threat of yet another
2-legged nuclear warhead-sporting mech known as, what
else? Metal Gear. The somewhat predictable story unfolds
primarily through static text-based conversations
with the odd cutscene at important intervals. While
the Ac!d series isn't restricted to the continuity
of the Metal Gear canon of the consoles, Kojima Productions
has crammed in hundreds of references (via cards)
of previous adventures which will delight fans familiar
with the MG universe.
every action in Ac!d 2 requires a card from the deck
to execute: movement, stealth maneuvers, defensive
and offensive tactics, weapon usage and countless
other actions are restricted to card-based turns.
For this very reason, RPG and strategy game enthusiasts
will instantly be more comfortable with Ac!d 2 than
the average action-seeker, but don't expect that this
new-fangled approach translates into a less entertaining
adventure; quite to the contrary. The strategy of
having to utilize the best possible card dealt randomly
from your deck, makes for an engrossing gameplay experience
with almost infinite replay value since the cards
are shuffled and will change upon consequent replays.
As mentioned, there are over 500 cards (watch for
MGS4 cards) to locate throughout the game and experimentation
is the ultimate key to unlocking everything Ac!d 2
has to offer.
obvious from the moment you start playing that Kojima
Productions was diligent about tweaking the gameplay
in response to gamers complaints with the first title.
Improvements include: more hands on character movement,
camera control, much less menu wading, more cards,
faster gameplay, improved visuals (if you like cel-shading),
ad hoc wireless play, excellent tutorial and a streamlined
intuitive interface with everything available at the
touch of a button. Kojima Productions even offers
the ability to import a favorite card and 1/100 PTS
from the original game if you have a save available.
New and improved modes include the revamped ad hoc
multiplayer, MGS3: Subsistence connectivity, ultra-challenging
boss battle Arena and Solid Eye Theater- definitely
the most innovative mode we've seen on the PSP thus
far. Solid Eye Theater turns your PSP into a 3D house
.and babes! Using the included Tobidacid
cardboard 3D glasses/Viewmaster hybrid that you put
together yourself and place your PSP into, you'll
be able to view cutscenes from MGS3, the entire MGS4
trailer, videos of scantily clad Japanese women and
even play the game entirely in 3D! It works surprisingly
well for such a wacky gimmick.
the turn-based card battlin' combat might sound like
the antithesis of edge-of-your-seat gaming, give Ac!d
2 a couple of hours of your undivided attention and
I guarantee you'll be up to your eyes and ears in
white-knuckle action. While the game feels a little
on the short side (15 hours + on the first run), you
can always elongate your investment with the multiplayer
and arena modes, and you'll definitely want to play
through the story again in your quest to collect all
of the cards. If you've been eagerly awaiting the
next installment of Snake's PSP adventures, Metal
Gear Ac!d 2 is a royal flush and that's no bluff.
original Metal Gear Ac!d was met with a collective
groan when it was announced last year that the title
would rely on card-game mechanics rather than being
a tried and true 3D action title, which gamers were
games not frightened off by the weird and unknown,
actually found a lot to love about the off-kilter
direction of Solid Snake's PSP debut. We're definitely
expecting more of the same once the sequel hits North
America later this year.
the game will retain the same mechanics of its predecessor,
MGA2 will introduce new cards to the mix, just to
shuffle things up a bit. Sorry, I couldn't resist.
Gamers can also expect a slightly tweaked, more intuitive
user interface to make playing the game more comfortable,
while pro cel-shaders will jump for joy at the new
artistic direction of the series.
Productions is overseeing development chores (while
simultaneously hard at work on Metal Gear Solid 4
for the PS3 and MGS3: Subsistence for PS2) so you
can expect attention to detail and continuity between
previous titles in the franchise. Some old friends
are also rumored to be returning....does the name
Revolver Ocelot ring a bell? Remember that one handed
dude who tortured poor Snake in the original Metal
Gear Solid? Yeah, him. I wonder what ole' 5 digits
has up his sleeve this time around for good old Dave?
currently all we know which was hopefully more than
you know, otherwise I guess you should have wrote
this preview, Mr. Smarty Pants. Stay tuned as we hope
to drop some more Ac!d info in the next while. I think
I just made a drug reference by accident.